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What to do at home before you go on vacation?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

It has been awhile since the last vacation.  I have been making a list of everything we need to do before we leave and thought I would ask what others do to be sure I don't miss a thing.  Things like unplug electronics, set light timers, collect bank account/cc information, etc.

 

so what do you do before you leave you house for more then a day?


Edited by anomaly13 - 3/23/11 at 9:31pm
post #2 of 14

Clean out the fridge!  I hate coming home and realizing there is stinky leftover Chinese food from before we went on vacation.

 

Triple check all the window and doors and set the alarm system.

 

Adjust the thermostat - well, in the summer, I make sure it's off so there is no chance of the A/C kicking on while we are gone. 

 

Transfer the laundry - not fun to come home to clothes that have been sitting in the washer - and on that note, make sure the washer door is open (front-loader).

 

Turn off all ceiling fans and lights, except for a light up in the master bath and one in the downstairs hallway or kitchen so it looks like someone might be home.  Like you mentioned, we unplug everything, including computers and TV power strips.  Make sure the motion sensor lights outside are on. 

 

One thing we sometimes do is haul our trash and recycling bins to the road so we don't miss the trash day while we are gone, thus, stinking up the garage; however, that means they are out there all week, unless you have someone to bring them back up.  It's really windy where we are, so the bins can go pretty far down the road, plus it might look like we are out of town. 

 

That's all I can think of.  Oh, would you need to stop your mail so it doesn't accumulate?  We have locked mailboxes that hold plenty down the road, so I don't worry about this. 

post #3 of 14

I'd say it looks like everything has been covered...

 

I like to sweep, pick up around the house, and make sure all the beds are made before we leave.  I hate coming home and feeling like the house is a mess and now we have all sorts of things to put away when we get back.

post #4 of 14

Wow, I never thought to unplug stuff. 

 

I clean the house, clean out the fridge, all garbage in garage, put a few lights on.  Stop mail, set the alarm, put the lock bar on the garage doors.  When we lived in the village we would call the police department to let them know.  They'd take down the info and pass it on to whoever was doing patrols in the area.  Now we let our security know.

 

And now we have to figure out arrangements for the dog.

post #5 of 14

Double-check that all toilets are flushed.

 

Turn off the water! There should be a simple shut-off valve near the water heater, that will turn off water to the whole house.

 

Our neighbors had an ice maker in their fridge, and when they were away for a weekend, the line where the water attaches to the back of the fridge somehow popped off. Even though it's a small line, the water ran all weekend, flooding the kitchen floor and ruining the base cabinets. The water seeped into the lower level (it's a split), and ruined the carpets, baseboards, and sheetrock thoughout.

 

Have the mail stopped, and newspaper delivery, if you have one. If you're going to be gone for more than a few days, make sure you don't have any bills coming in that need to be paid right away.

 

My Mom sometimes travels for a month or so in the winter. She has a sensor in the house connected to a light in a window. If the temperature in the house goes below 50°F, the light comes on, and a neighbor can come and check the furnace. She lives in Minnesota, where pipes can freeze if a house gets too cold.

post #6 of 14

Pretty much what everyone else posted-unplug big electronics, clean out the fridge, set the thermostat, etc.  We also do the following:

 

  • put a hold on the mail or arrange for someone to pick up
  • put a hold on the newspaper delivery
  • set a few lights on timers so that it appears someone is home
  • flush ridex down the toilet (we have a septic systems)
  • change all the sheets/make the beds because its nice to come home to clean sheets
  • set up the fish food timer
post #7 of 14

I don't feed my fish when we go out of town - they've been left on their own for almost two weeks, without a problem. I feed them well for the week or two before we leave, and make sure I do a 50% water change before we go. I would be worried about the feeder going whacky and the fish being overfed and the tank getting polluted. I don't worry so much about my fish going hungry - they';; make up for it when I get home.

post #8 of 14

 

Do you live where power failures are a problem? 

 

If you are unplugging things like digital clock radios, computers and microwaves that might otherwise reveal an outage when you get back, there's a handy trick to tell if you've had a significant power failure: 

 

Half fill a cup or uncapped bottle with water. In your freezer, tip it to one side and rest it against something, so that the water is on an angle when it freezes. Before you go away, place the cup so it is resting with it's bottom flat (i.e. sitting normally). When you return, if the ice is no longer frozen on an angle, it's melted and re-frozen flat. That means that there was a power failure for long enough that it affected the food in your freezer. 

 

 

 

 

post #9 of 14

I guess im not responsible... I pack and leave.... My day to day life is pretty organized and not much needs to be done.

I have a PO Box, Things are organized, laundry is usually current etc...

 

Pack and Leave....

post #10 of 14

well gee,  good for you!!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post

I guess im not responsible... I pack and leave.... My day to day life is pretty organized and not much needs to be done.

I have a PO Box, Things are organized, laundry is usually current etc...

 

Pack and Leave....



 

post #11 of 14

We always notify a trusted neighbor that we will be away and where (including contact info).  In the event of fire, burglary or some other issue, it is good that a neighbor knows where you are and how to reach you.

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post

I guess im not responsible... I pack and leave.... My day to day life is pretty organized and not much needs to be done.

I have a PO Box, Things are organized, laundry is usually current etc...

 

Pack and Leave....


nod.gif I am the same. I just make sure the trash is out lol.gif I don't understand the snark from a previous poster.
post #13 of 14

I always:

• Empty (more or less) the refrigerator and wipe down the shelves

• Stop the mail

• Water all the plants

• Make sure washer / dryer are empty

• Empty all the trash cans

• Take out the recycling

• Run the dishwasher (and empty it if I have time)

• Run the garbage disposal so we don't come back to a stinky sink!

• Put a few lights on timers

• Do a quick pickup on the main floor

• Make sure I have ingredients for a simple meal or something frozen for the day we come back

• Do a quick tidy of the kitchen and vacuum the main floor

 

A lot of these are just particular to me, I'm sure, because I HATE coming home to a dirty or messy house.  Even if I'm swamped with packing I always make sure to clean the house before we leave because nothing undoes the relaxation from a vacation more quickly than a messy house.  But that's just me... :)

 

post #14 of 14
In addition to the other things mentioned, I always turn the hot water heater all the way down. Before we replaced it, I turned off the water that went to it (it was old, and I was afraid of a leak while we were gone.) If I didn't have a leak-proof valve on my washer, I'd turn that water off, too.

We unplug a whole lot of things. Anything that might draw power and can be easily unplugged, and anything old.

We turn the heat down in the winter and a/c off in the summer.
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